PNM customers likely to face blackout outs this summer and summer 2023 due expected shortages
Customers with the Public Service Company of New Mexico could face blackouts this summer and in the summer of 2023 unless the utility and state regulators can fund emergency solutions to cover shortages during peak demand.
According to a report by the Albuquerque Journal, PNM and some commissioners say extending operations for a few months at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, which is scheduled to shut down in June could resolve the immediate problems facing the utility and their customers this summer.
But this solution would only be temporary as PNM executives say the utility will almost certainly face critical shortages again in summer 2023 because the Public Regulation Commission has yet to approve new resources to replace some of the power it currently receives from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona.
Both PNM, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, and some industry experts say the Public Regulation Commission’s poor decision-making on replacing the power from San Juan with renewable resources without approving adequate back-up generation to ensure grid reliability has led to the creation of a vulnerable situation in New Mexico’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Public Regulation Commissioners say the crisis is caused in part by “unforeseen circumstances” and criticized PNM for not submitting proposals earlier.